Textbooks for Nuns

Great news! This project has been fully funded! 

In late January 2024, the Tibetan Nuns Project put out a call for help to purchase new textbooks for the nunneries in India for the start of the new academic year. Our wonderful supporters responded magnificently and the first orders were placed with Collins India.

Thank you to everyone who donated to purchase textbooks for the Tibetan Buddhist nuns in India! Four of the seven nunneries in northern India have already received them and the nuns are delighted with their new books on English, math, science, and general knowledge. Here are photos of the nuns receiving and using the textbooks.

Here is a report with photos.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns with new textbooks

Thank you for purchasing new textbooks for the nuns! As you can see, they are delighted. Photo taken in May 2024 by the Dolma Ling Media Nuns.

At Dolma Ling, home now to 270 nuns, the nuns have received 274 new textbooks. The teachers there needed higher grade books which were not previously available and grammar and composition books.

new textbooks for Tibetan Buddhist nuns

Photos from May 2024 taken by Robin Groth showing some of the new textbooks in use at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute.

At Geden Choeling, the oldest nunnery in Dharamsala, the 200 nuns and their teachers are excited to have good sets of books. Geden Choeling’s abbot wants the nuns to learn math, but the nunnery didn’t have any math textbooks until now. Thanks to the generous support of Tibetan Nuns Project donors the  Geden Choeling nuns now have these 362 textbooks.

Nuns at Geden Choeling nunnery carefully protect their new textbooks

Nuns at Geden Choeling nunnery carefully protect their new textbooks. Tibetans have a deep respect for books. Photo by the Dolma Ling Media Nuns.

Eight boxes containing 369 textbooks were delivered in May to Shugsep Nunnery and Institute, home to about 100 nuns. The Shugsep nuns needed math, science, and English grammar and composition books. The English teacher also asked for help to improve the stock of English textbooks so the students could complete coursework up to Grade 8. The nunnery’s last big purchase of books was many years ago and those books were so well-loved and used that they were falling apart.

new textbooks for Tibetan Buddhist nuns

Nuns at Dolma Ling using some of the new textbooks. A single book can transform hundreds of lives over the years and we are very grateful to the donors who funded the textbooks. Photo by the Dolma Ling Media Nuns.

The textbook order for Tilokpur Nunnery has been placed and includes a series of books called Cherry Blossoms for the new class of 15 young nuns who joined the nunnery this spring. Tilokpur nunnery has one English teacher who teaches all eight classes so she is pretty busy but most appreciative of the books.

education of Tibetan Buddhist nuns

The mission of the Tibetan Nuns Project is to educate and empower nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as teachers and leaders; and to establish, strengthen, and support educational institutions to preserve the Tibetan religion and culture. Photo by the Dolma Ling Media Nuns.

In mid-June we received these wonderful photos from the nuns at Sherab Choeling Nunnery as they got their six big boxes of textbooks.

Textbooks for the nuns at Sherab Choeling Nunnery

Six big boxes of textbooks arrive! Typically, women who live in remote areas like Spiti and who are interested in studying or practicing their religion have very few options. The Tibetan Nuns Project helps support the nunnery’s 17-year study program.

Sherab Choeling Nunnery in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh was founded in 1995 with the vision to educate Himalayan Buddhist nuns who would otherwise have no opportunity to receive any formal schooling or spiritual education. It is a non-sectarian nunnery that recognizes the beauty and value in all Buddhist traditions.

Sherab Choeling Nunnery

Joy at receiving the textbooks! Women and girls from these remote Himalayan areas like Spiti have traditionally given far less education than men and boys.

The books for Sakya College for Nuns are being purchased soon. The textbooks for Dorjee Zong Nunnery in the remote area of Zanskar will be purchased this summer and brought there. We’ll report on these in the fall.

boxes of new textbooks for Tibetan Buddhist nunneries

Boxes of new textbooks for Tibetan Buddhist nunneries.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan Nuns Project will continue to work with all seven of the nunneries to establish good library practices and to have library time for informal reading of fiction and non-fiction books. Dolma Ling library is functioning well and the nuns regularly borrow books and read them. The teachers at Shugsep Nunnery will bring their classes to the library and display a range of books so the students can look through them easily and choose what they would like to read.

Textbooks needed for Tibetan Buddhist nuns in India

Nuns at Tilokpur. Traditionally Tibetan Buddhist nuns have not had equal access to education. The textbooks will help educate and empower the nuns to become teachers and leaders.